18 categories celebrating the best of the UK association Sector

2024 categories

engage. improve. lead.

Our awards are split into three thematic areas, recognising the work that associations undertake:

Engage

Recognising leadership in engaging with members, their teams and their stakeholders

Improve

Recognising associations that drive improvement across their people, operations and processes

Lead

Recognising associations and individuals that demonstrate leadership of our sector

2024 categories are now live!

We’ve inroduced some new categories for 2024, alongside some of the old favourites – which ones will you enter? 

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How to enter

Entries open on Monday 11th September and will be managed by our online awards management system provided by our partner Award Force.

Entries are open until 23:59 on 24/11/23, submissions after this date will be disqualified.

Applicants will need to draft their resoponses in a document and then upload the file, along with any supporting documentatiuon, to the TAF online submission portal.

You must pay the entry fee (TAF Members – £125 (ex VAT) per entry, non-members £175 (ex VAT) per entry) for your submission to be approved. Applications without an associated payment will be disqualified.

Each category has indvidiual guidance of what the judges are looking for on the Categories page of this site. Please find all categories below.

Further guidance and rules of entry are available here.

If you have any questions about entering, please do not hesitate to contact secretariat@taforum.org.

Engage

Magazine of the year – 750 word limit – sponsored by Tandem Media 

The judges will be looking for any magazine produced by or on behalf of a trade association that most engages and serves the needs of its audience. The magazine, which may take any form, should be interesting and appropriate for its purpose, promote the sector and offer excellent value for money. Design, content, distribution and ease of use will be considered.

Your submission should state why your association deserves to win this award and must include full details of the intended audience and distribution method together with details of the aim and purpose of the magazine, including supporting financial information where appropriate.

Please ensure electronic copies of a budget giving details of the costs and revenue generated by the publication are also submitted as well as audience feedback and any other relevant supporting documentation.

Electronic copies of the magazine (minimum 2 issues) must also be included, please upload them as a PDF attachment on the submission portal.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

Publication of the year – 750 word limit – sponsored by Klarents

The judges will be looking for the best publications, not including magazines, produced by or on behalf of a trade association such as thought leadership reports, annual reports, surveys or other forms of publication.

The publication, which may take any form, should be interesting and appropriate for its purpose, promote the sector and offer excellent value for money. Design, content, distribution and ease of use will be considered.

Your submission should state why your association deserves to win this award and must include full details of the intended audience and distribution method together with details of the aim and purpose of the publication.

Electronic copies of the publication must also be included, please upload them as a PDF attachment on the submission portal.

Please ensure electronic copies of a full budget giving details of the costs and revenue generated (if appropriate) are also submitted, as well as feedback and any other relevant supporting documentation.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

Event of the Year (under 500 attendees) – 750 word limit

The judges will be looking for an outstanding event run by an association, either physically in the UK or overseas, or online, which featured less than 500 attendees.

The event may take any form and should have attracted exceptional attendee feedback as well as a proven financial return. Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must include details on the content along with information about how the event supported the overall aims and objectives of your association.

Please ensure electronic copies of a budget for the event giving details of the costs and financial return are also submitted as well as a copy of the event programme/agenda, and other supporting material that you feel supports your case.  This data must include the number of attendees.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.



Event of the Year (over 500 attendees) – 750 word limit – sponsored by Goldcrest Events

The judges will be looking for an outstanding event run by an association, either physically in the UK or overseas, or online, which featured more than 500 attendees.

The event may take any form and should have attracted exceptional attendee feedback as well as a proven financial return. Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must include details on the content along with information about how the event supported the overall aims and objectives of your association.

Please ensure electronic copies of a full budget for the event giving details of the costs and financial return are also submitted as well as a copy of the event programme/agenda, and other supporting material that you feel supports your case.  This data must include the number of attendees.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Membership engagement award – 750 word limit – sponsored by Guild

The judges will give this award to an association which, in the opinion of the judges, has clearly demonstrated a proactive initiative in the last year, that has clearly demonstrated an increased level of membership engagement.

This may cover levels of activity and effort invested by your membership (for example, time spent on your website or the number of training sessions attended in the past year), or an insight into how well your members are aware of and perceive your activities and how you meet their needs. This initiative will have demonstrated a measurable impact on the retention or acquisition of members or may have significantly stemmed an outflow of members against previous years.

Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must include full membership data showing the effect of the initiative. Membership statistics and a comparison against the previous two years must be included together with details on new members and the number of resignations/terminations as well as a full analysis of trends.

Please ensure electronic copies of a budget for the initiative are submitted giving details of the costs and financial return on the investment.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Marketing Campaign of the Year – 750 word limit – sponsored by RHA

The judges will be looking for any marketing campaign produced by or on behalf of a trade association that successfully delivers key organisational objectives.

This campaign may involve members and/or non-members and offer good value for money and demonstrable results. This may be for a campaign or a specific issue or for a sustained series of communications over a longer timeframe.

Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must include information on the purpose, basis and frequency of the communication in the campaign together with evidence of the impact/benefit this may have had on members/non-members of your organisation.

If applicable, information on the level of traffic to your website should be included together with details of any linked websites that are relevant.

Please ensure electronic copies of a budget with full details of the costs and revenues for the campaign are also submitted as well as copies of the campaign materials and/or communications which may have been sent.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Media Campaign of the Year – 750 word limit – sponsored by Illuminate Recruitment

 

 

The judges will be looking for any media or social media campaign produced by or on behalf of a trade association that successfully delivers key organisational objectives.

This campaign or communication may involve members and/or non-members and offer good value for money. This may be for a campaign or a specific issue or perhaps for a sustained series of communications over a longer timeframe.

Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must include information on the purpose, basis and frequency of the communication in the campaign together with evidence of the impact/benefit this may have had on members/non-members of your organisation.

If applicable, information on the level of traffic to your website should be included together with details of any linked websites that are relevant.

Please ensure electronic copies of a budget with full details of the costs and revenues for the campaign are also submitted as well as copies of the campaign materials and/or communications which may have been sent.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Sector Representation of the Year – 750 word limit – sponsored by the Department for Business and Trade

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) is the Government department for economic growth. It supports businesses to invest, grow and export, creating jobs and opportunities across the country.  In line with the Prime Minister’s economic priorities, DBT will continue to help grow the economy and enable firms to create better-paid jobs across the country by removing barriers to businesses, growing UK exports to reach £1 trillion a year by 2030 and promoting the UK as the number one investment destination in Europe.

Trade associations are key partners with Government in helping businesses succeed. They are a powerful voice in leading, championing and celebrating their sectors. They provide an important two-way channel of communication with the Government, representing their member’s needs and aspirations and ensuring these are reflected as far as possible in public policy.

 This award will be given to a trade association or an alliance of trade associations that, in the opinion of the judges, has led the best representative action for their sector at any time in the past year.

The winning entry will showcase a successful initiative by a trade association to tackle an issue of importance to the future prosperity and growth of its members. The judges will be looking for evidence of effective engagement that has harnessed the will and power of the sector to deliver something of importance both to the sector and Government priorities. 

 The winning entry will also demonstrate innovation and good practice in managing relationships with Government and other stakeholders to achieve the desired outcome. 

Your submission should explain why your association deserves to win the award and must include details of the background for the initiative and information on the challenges that were overcome as a result of your activities.

 Please ensure electronic copies of a full budget for the campaign are included as well as a copy of any documentation or literature produced as part of the initiative. This may include press releases, brochures and other relevant supporting documentation.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Improve

Innovation Award – 750 word limit – sponsored by CAFA

This award recognises innovation in any aspect of your trade association’s activities. The judges will be looking for the successful implementation of any new idea, whether that is a process, product or technical innovation.

The past few years have been extremely challenging for trade associations who have had to transform and innovate at pace and scale to continue to deliver the services and support that members have needed. 

Judges will be looking for examples of innovation across all areas of trade association activity, particularly where associations have led their sectors,  innovated, implemented new ways of working, moved services online or achieved commercial success through the successful implementation of new ideas and initiatives. 

Your submission should set out clearly, your innovation, the implementation of that innovation and its impact on your association and/or your members

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

Best Association Transformation – 750 word limit – sponsored by the Brick Development Association

Each year many associations go through transformation programmes to improve their ability to deliver for members, this award seeks to recognise those efforts and celebrate the efforts of associations who revitalise their mandates.

The judges will be looking for an association that has delivered a transformation programme to overhaul and renew the association’s mission, strategy, structure or finances.

Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must clearly demonstrate the positive impact that the transformation programme has had on the association and its ability to deliver for its members.

Please upload any relevant documentation to support your submission, which may include strategy papers, financial information or member feedback.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Best association/supplier partnership – 750 word limit – sponsored by Cantarus

This award recognises the wide-ranging partnerships that associations develop with suppliers to deliver for their members. Any supplier to a UK trade association is eligible to enter this award and the judges encourage joint submissions from suppliers/associations. 

The judges will be looking for evidence of: 

  • A genuine partnership between an association and a supplier
  • The impact of the partnership on delivering the corporate objectives of the association and its members 
  • Value for money and effectiveness of the partnership
  • A well-managed contract delivered within agreed budgets and timelines

Your submission should state clearly why your association/supplier deserves to win this award, the services delivered, the cost of those services to the association and the impact of those services on the association.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

Skills Development Award – 750 word limit – sponsored by Associated Learning

The judges will be looking for a demonstration of where an Association has supported their members and their industry with skills development priorities.

Your submission should provide clear evidence of where your organisation has engaged with conversations around the skills agenda and how you have supported the development of solutions to support the skills development priorities that have been identified as a result of these conversations. 

The judges are keen to see examples of best practice in sourcing funding and working in partnership to support training and skills development through apprenticeship and trailblazer schemes, building relationships with Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities, politicians, schools, further education colleges, private training providers or trade unions and professional bodies. Where associations have developed their own solutions in-house, please set out how the development of training and development was resourced internally. 

In all cases please show how your skills development initiatives have been established in collaboration with your members. 

Your submission should state clearly why your association deserves to win this award and must include electronic copies of a full budget for the activity as well as details of the positive impact these activities have had on your industry.  Where possible, details on the reaction from your industry should also be provided.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.



Lead

Diversity & Inclusion Award – 750 word limit – sponsored by Backhouse Jones

The judges will be looking for a trade association that has shown a recognised commitment to creating and applying a greater awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in their sector and/or their association. 

Your submission will demonstrate how your association has sought to improve diversity and champion the inclusion of underrepresented groups in your association and/or industry sector.

Eligible initiatives may include, but are not limited to those relating to:

  • Age
  • Disability 
  • Gender 
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Mental health
  • Pregnancy and parental rights 
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation 
 

Your submission should clearly state why your association deserves to win this award. You must provide clear evidence of the positive impact the initiative has had in your association/sector. In your submission, please ensure that a copy of the initiative documentation, budgetary information, and any other supporting material is included.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

ESG initiative of the year – 750 word limit sponsored by the Chemical Business Association

ESG reporting and frameworks have become commonplace across the corporate world, demonstrating the increasing importance of adhering to responsible business practices. TAF is keen to recognise the contribution to the environment, society and the development of responsible business of trade associations. 

The judges will be looking for evidence of association-led initiatives that deliver a significant environmental,  community or societal benefit.

The initiative could relate to your association, your sector or work done to support charities, or local communities either in the UK or abroad. 

The award covers members’ work around sustainability as well as corporate social responsibility and covers initiatives where associations are looking to mitigate the impact of their sector on the environment and communities. 

Where your initiatives support the UK to meet international obligations for example around net zero targets please ensure that this is referenced in your submission. 

Your submission should explain why your association deserves to win this award the issues the initiative was designed to address, the role of your association and evidence of the positive social impact the initiative had.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Association Team of the Year – 750 word limit – sponsored by PoliMonitor

The judges will be looking for a trade association team that has delivered above and beyond for their association, their members and their sector. This could be an individual department within an association or, especially in the case of smaller associations, the entire staff team.

Within the submission, please provide full details of who is making the nomination and why. Please submit a summary describing the team’s work which addresses the following:

  • Details of the makeup of the team, its role and responsibilities
  • How the team has contributed to the overall strategy of the association, setting out clearly the results and impact of the team.
  • How your team delivers for the members of your association
  • The culture of the team, its values and ways of working

 

Please make sure that your submission sets out clearly the challenges they faced, and how their actions specifically led to successful outcomes.

 

Please provide endorsements from colleagues, partners or members referencing their excellent performance.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.



Rising Star – 750 word limit – Sponsored by the CIPR

The judges will be looking for any exceptional individual within their association or a member of their association. 

Within the submission, please provide full details of who is making the nomination and why. Please submit a summary describing the nominee’s work and a statement setting out why they are destined to become a senior leader in the Association sector. Your submission should address the following:

  • How your nominee has contributed to the Association, setting out clearly their role within the association and where they have taken on leadership responsibilities for a specific project or area of work
  • Your nominee’s track record of effectiveness in overcoming problems that are faced by your association or sector ensuring specific examples are included. 
  • How your nominee has earnt the trust and respect of more experienced colleagues, members and external stakeholders (please provide evidence) 
  • How your nominee has specifically supported the Association or a member of your association to achieve their objectives, and particularly where they have developed and implemented a strategy.
  • Please make sure that your submission sets out clearly the challenges they have faced, and how their actions specifically led to successful outcomes
  • Please provide endorsements from colleagues and members referencing their excellent performance.

 

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

Outstanding Leadership Award – 750 word limit – sponsored by Membership Bespoke 

 

The judges will be looking for an exceptional leader within their association. Within the submission, please provide full details of who is making the nomination and why. Please submit a summary describing the nominee’s work and a statement that addresses the following:

  • Effectiveness Please describe your nominee’s track record of effectiveness in overcoming problems that are faced by your association or sector ensuring specific examples are included. 
  • Innovation and adaptability Please describe how your nominee’s work demonstrates the ability to adapt and innovate to meet the changing demands of members and your operating environment
  • ImpactPlease describe the impact and unique differences exercised by your nominee in their effort(s) described in a) and b) above. 
  • Relevance Briefly discuss the difficulties that may have been addressed by your nominee and their importance to your association and wider sector
  • InclusivenessPlease describe the constituencies with which the nominee works, providing specific examples of how the nominee has brought together people with differing points of view and/or backgrounds. 

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

Trade Association of the Year 2023 – 1000 word limit – sponsored by Nucleus Technologies

This category is open to any UK Trade Association and recognises exceptional performance by a trade association in the past year.

The Judges would ask that you set out clearly why your association should win this award this year and include areas of operational excellence, exceptional leadership of your sector and specific challenges that your association has overcome.  As part of your submission, please include year-on-year data covering:

  • member growth and retention 
  • member satisfaction and engagement
  • effective financial management and growth (if applicable) 
  • innovation and investment (particularly in new or additional activity)
  • partnerships and collaboration
  • the delivery of other significant improvements and projects

 

Please ensure that you include a copy of the published accounts for the current and previous year and a copy of the business plan or strategy document as agreed by the governing body as well as evidential supporting documentation.

Please submit your entry via TAF’s online awards platform powered by Award Force. Registrations and submissions will be open from Monday 11th September 2023.

 

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